Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson has qualified for Thursday night’s Fox News debate, cracking 1 percent support in five different polls.
This is Jim’s territory, but Johnson will be vying with Ron Paul for the “pro-liberty” vote: while he has no chance of winning a general election (sorry, Paul and Johnson fans), he will bring a number of important issues into the mainstream discussion. For instance, he favors legalization of marijuana, is opposed to a fence along the Mexican border, and is generally anti-interventionist. Unlike Paul, he has a record of executive experience. He was a two-term governor, and a budget-cutter. He prides himself on issuing more vetoes than any other governor.
As a successful former governor, Johnson deserves a spot on the debate stage. His presence, however, will represent a step backward for the GOP in at least one key way. While every other Republican candidate is strongly pro-life, including both Ron Paul and (perhaps less strongly) the formerly pro-choice Mitt Romney, Johnson is proudly pro-choice.